Smackdown: Coming Soon!


Kashmiri lamb meatballs: Yum.


Writing a post tonight: aargh. For reasons unbeknownst, I am beat tonight, so expect words tomorrow, when I will hopefully be less so.


Okay, it’s not so much “tomorrow,” but better late than never, right? Right. So: Kashmiri koftes*, or meatballs, start with ground lamb. I mixed in fresh ginger, cumin, ground coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne, salt and a few tablespoons of plain yogurt; it’s the spice combo that makes this “Kashmiri.”

*From Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking


I loathe mixing cold ground meat with my hands – the addition of cold, creamy yogurt doesn’t help matters – but I love eating meatballs, so I suck it up. I shaped my meat into koftes, sausage-y, torpedo-y shapes. My pound of lamb yielded eight koftes, so mine were a bit on the hefty size.*

*“We’re just big boned!”

plus epices

The kofte cooking process is two fold: first, you brown the meatballs in vegetable oil that’s been flavored with some aromatics. In this case, a cinnamon stick, some cloves, bay leaves and green cardamom pods went into an eighth of an inch of hot vegetable oil


Once the koftes are browned, you pour over a cup of water into which you’ve beaten a few more tablespoons of plain yogurt. The koftes simmer in this mixture for about thirty minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated from the pan and the koftes are once again sauteeing in fat.


While the koftes simmered, I threw together quick dish of red lentils with cumin. The red lentils simmered with some ginger and turmeric until done. Or in my case, because I think I’d purchased the wrong kind of lentils, until they broke down completely and turned into lentil puree. I swear, it happened in a matter of minutes; I still have no idea how it went down.

Once the lentils were done, I heated some clarified butter for the grand finale. Into the hot butter went cumin and coriander seeds and cayenne. They spattered about in the butter for a few minutes, and then the whole mess got dumped into the lentil mix and stirred in.

trois koftes

I spooned some lentil puree onto my plate, added some fresh cilantro and topped with my now brown and lovely koftes.

trois koftes

I just need to say: I fricking love Indian food. Kashmiri, Goan, Gujarati, Keralan, I don’t care, I love it. This meal was no exception; the koftes were perfectly spiced, perfectly cooked and perfectly paired with the earthy lentils.

But then, I guess you can’t go wrong with Madhur Jaffrey, can you? No, you can’t.

10 thoughts on “Smackdown: Coming Soon!

  1. I realize no words but that looks delicious. My husband is not a lamb fan (I am!). I probably need to buy another cookbook.

  2. I know this sounds really creepy, but that second photo: sometimes I wish my lips were the color of the meat. Such a lovely pink hue.

  3. I am also not a lamb fan, but I will cook it from time to time b/c my husband loves it. I might try these, as they look too tasty not to love!

  4. I have ground lamb in the freezer and I want to make this, please post the recipe. Also what’s the puree that the meatballs are sitting on?

  5. Pingback: thursday night smackdown » Remember that time…

  6. I love your website, I always look forward to seeing your stuff. You didn’t buy the wrong lentils, red lentils always break down, and they do it quickly, as you pointed out. They just sort of melt into a kind of lentily mush, which is really quite delightful. This sounds like a delicious dish, as almost all of your recipes do. ( I don’t care for seafood or fish, but I still like to read what you make).

  7. Pingback: thursday night smackdown » Not-Pockets

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